It was a mixed day for India at Wimbledon yesterday, as Leander Paes and Adil Shamasdin went down in a close encounter to Austria's Julian Knowle and Philip Oswald. But Rohan Bopanna and Roger Vasselin did make it through to round two. Meanwhile, Federer and Djokovic also advanced round three.
Paes walked on to Court No.8 at Wimbledon with his new partner, after the duo had decided to play together on the eve of the tournament. And the Indo-Canadian pair started off well as they took the first two sets 6-4, 6-4, thanks to Shamasdin’s service game and Paes’ net play.
However, as the match stretched and the heat intensified, it only slowed down and distracted Paes/Shamasdin. Their momentum broke down and their serves became loose. Eventually, their inexperience of playing together showed as they allowed Knowle/Oswald back into the game. And the Austrian pair made them pay as they clinched the final three sets 6-2, 7-6, 10-8 in a match that stretched to just a minute short of the four-hour mark.
Despite Paes’ loss, there was good news for Indian fans on the day as Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated German duo Dustin Brown and Mischa Zverev in straight sets to advance to the second round.
Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin secured breaks in fourth and sixth games in the first set to see it out 6-3. Though they were broken early on in the second set, they managed to return the favour in the ninth game to eventually take it into a tiebreaker, before winning it 7-4. In the third set, Brown/Zverev dropped serve while trailing 5-4, thus conceding the match in just over 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles category, Roger Federer cruised into the third round with a 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Dusan Lajovic. Though Federer lost the opening seven points and fell 2-0 down against Lajovic, he managed to break back immediately and after a tight set, dominated the tiebreak 7-0 to take decisive control of proceedings. Ninety minutes, nine aces and 30 winners later, he wrapped up a solid win and set up a third-round clash with Germany's 27th seed Mischa Zverev.
Federer will be joined in the third round by second-seeded Novak Djokovic, who earlier swept past Adam Pavlasek 6-2 6-2 6-1 on Court One. Three-time champion Djokovic needed just over 90 minutes to see off the Czech, who was making his Wimbledon debut. The Serbian converted seven of his 18 break points, en route to the third round.
The 30-year-old will play Latvia's Ernests Gulbis after the world number 589 pulled off the upset of the day by beating Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-3). In the other significant matches of the day, last year’s runner-up Raonic managed to battle past Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 7-5 in two hours and 40 minutes on court two, while Austrian Thiem saw off Frenchman Gilles Simon 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-4 and Alexander Zverev, the brother of Mischa, beat American Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-4 6-3.
In another match, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov beat former Wimbledon semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 6-2 6-1, with the 26-year-old securing a comprehensive victory over the Cypriot with a stunning diving forehand volley.
Meanwhile, in the women’s section, Magdalena Rybarikova pulled off the upset of the day as she shocked third seed Karolina Pliskova in three sets. Pliskova was beaten 6-3 5-7 2-6 and is the highest-ranked player to exit the women's draw, so far. However, top seed Angelique Kerber is through after beating Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 7-5. Germany's Kerber and Belgian Flipkens twice broke each other in the first set, before the world number one seized the initiative with a break at 6-5 and served for the set.
The 2016 runner-up led 5-3 in the second set and looked to be cruising to victory on Court One, but Flipkens broke again to level at 5-5. However, Kerber broke back immediately and then negotiated a tricky final game to secure her place in the third round after one hour and 44 minutes.
Elsewhere, Polish ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska came from a set down to beat American Christina McHale 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 6-3. Radwanska saved two match points before winning the second set on a tie-break, while Russian seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova eased to a 6-0 7-5 victory over compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in 69 minutes. Finally, Caroline Wozniacki won 6-3 6-4 against Tsvetana Pironkova. Wozniacki will be joined in the next round by Spain's 14th seed Garbine Muguruza who saw off Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-4.
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